Browsing articles in "Security"
Tuesday 11th November 2014 - 8:40 am
Comments Off on Lest we forget

Lest we forget

by Alan Thornhill

At 11 am today, Australians will fall silent.

It’s Remembrance Day.

The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, says:”this Remembrance Day marks 96 years since the guns fell silent at the end of the Great War.”

In a statement to mark the occasion, he also said:”The Great War was the crucible in which our nation’s identity was forged.

“From a population of under five million; 417,000 enlisted, 332,000 served overseas, 152,000 were wounded and 61,000 never came home.

“It was sacrifice on a stupendous scale.

“After the Armistice, we vowed never to forget and today, we renew that vow.

“At 11:00am, wherever we are, Australians will fall silent.

“We pause to remember the suffering and loss that has occurred in all wars, for we are a country of memory, as well as memorials.

“Today, we will remember the courage, achievements, pain and loss of all who have served in our name.

“And we draw strength from their memory,” Mr Abbott said.

In a separate statement, the Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, said:”We shall remember them and honour their sacrifice, always.”


Lest we forget.

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Monday 6th October 2014 - 11:57 am
Comments Off on Identity theft:what you can do

Identity theft:what you can do

by Alan Thornhill

Suffered from identity theft?

Need to get your life back into order?

Help is at hand.

The Federal Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan, today launched a new private sector initiative called iDcare.

He said the Queensland based service is “one of a kind.”

” It offers a toll-free national anonymous telephone service that works with members of the community without charge to develop tailored and practical response plans to get people back on track following an event that threatens their personal information,” Mr Keenan said.

The Managing Director of iDcare, Dr David Lacey, said “to have one provider, that cuts across all levels of government and industries, that works with individuals to build a tailored response to their circumstances is very unique”.

“iDcare is a not-for-profit established as a joint national public-private sector initiative.

” It’s located on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

“Its case management centre is specifically tailored to deal with minor through to complex identity theft and misuse events.

“We respond to clients from Cairns to Esperance, of all ages, and respond to all forms of identity theft, online and physical.” Mr Lacey said.

“A measure of our success is the ability to cut down the complexity of how our clients need to respond, to share critical knowledge, and get them feeling back in control,” said Dr Lacey.

iDcare operates its 1300 432 273 (1300 IDCARE) support line from 8am to 6pm (AEDT) Monday to Friday and can be engaged online via the idcare.org website.

iDcare does not collect personal details, nor does it charge for its service, Mr Lacey said.

Friday 3rd October 2014 - 5:52 pm
Comments Off on RAAF Super Hornets to join attacks on ISIL

RAAF Super Hornets to join attacks on ISIL

by Alan Thornhill

Six Australian Super Hornets could well be taking part in air-strikes against ISIL forces in Iraq within days.

This follows the Prime Minister’s announcement today that the RAAF fighter jets will join a US led mission to disrupt and degrade those forces.

The Chief of Australia’s Defence Forces, Air Chief Marshall Binskin, said the government had authorised the use of up to eight RAAF Super Hornets in the operation.

It is being conducted with the full support of the Labor Party.

Mr Abbott said: ““This is not a decision the Government has taken lightly.

” Ultimately it is Iraq that must defeat ISIL.

“But it cannot do it alone.

“This decision reflects the Government’s assessment – shared by a growing coalition of Middle Eastern and Western partners – that ISIL represents a significant threat not only to the people of Iraq but to the wider region and to our domestic security,” Mr Abbott said.

“I have enormous respect for Australian servicemen and women and their safety is the Government’s utmost concern,” the Prime Minister added.

“They will complete their mission with professionalism and courage.

“Our thoughts are with their families, who will have the support of the entire Australian community,” he said.

The Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, made similar comments.

He said: “Today, our thoughts are with the brave men and women of our defence forces – and their families – who will undertake this mission in the name of the defenceless.

“We wish them a safe and successful mission and a speedy return to the ones they love.

“These decisions are never made lightly – the most difficult decision for a nation is to send its military into harm’s way.

“But in the face of evil, nations of good conscience have a responsibility to act.

“ISIL is not the enemy of one nation, one faith or one people – they are the enemy of all, because they are the enemy of peace,” Mr Shorten said.

Friday 3rd October 2014 - 2:06 pm
Comments Off on RAAF to strike ISIL in Iraq

RAAF to strike ISIL in Iraq

by Alan Thornhill

The RAAF is to participate in allied airstrikes on ISIL forces in Iraq.

The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, made the announcement today.

His statement is reproduced below.

Mr Abbott said:”The Government will commit up to eight Australian F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft to participate in airstrikes in Iraq as part of the international coalition formed to disrupt and degrade ISIL.

“Once the appropriate legal arrangements are in place with the Iraqi government, Australian Special Forces will also deploy to Iraq to advise and assist Iraqi security forces.

“These forces will join the RAAF E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft and KC-30A multi-role tanker transport already supporting coalition air operations over Iraq.

“This is not a decision the Government has taken lightly. Ultimately it is Iraq that must defeat ISIL, but it cannot do it alone.

“This decision reflects the Government’s assessment – shared by a growing coalition of Middle Eastern and Western partners – that ISIL represents a significant threat not only to the people of Iraq but to the wider region and to our domestic security.

“At the United Nations in New York last week, Iraq’s new Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi welcomed Australia’s commitment to support Iraq in defeating ISIL.

“Australia will be acting as part of a large coalition of countries supporting Iraq in the fight against ISIL and contributing to the humanitarian relief effort.

“Importantly, a number of Iraq’s Arab neighbours are participating in operations against ISIL alongside the United States and other countries including the United Kingdom and France. More have declared their intention to join air combat operations against the terrorist group.

“Australia is reluctant to reach out to conflicts thousands of miles away, but this conflict has reached out to us.

“At least 60 Australians are now fighting with terrorist groups in the Middle East and at least 100 Australians are supporting them at home.

“I have enormous respect for Australian servicemen and women and their safety is the Government’s utmost concern.

“They will complete their mission with professionalism and courage.

“Our thoughts are with their families, who will have the support of the entire Australian community,” Mr Abbott said.

Wednesday 1st October 2014 - 6:52 pm
Comments Off on Government accused of “over-reaching” on national security

Government accused of “over-reaching” on national security

by Alan Thornhill

The Federal government was accused of over-reaching today, as parliament passed new national security legislation, which could see journalists and whistle-blowers jailed for 10 years.

An independent Senator, Nick Xenophon said: “The government may well come to realise that it has over-reached today.”

However the Attorney General, Senator George Brandis, said it had been careful not to do so.

Both were speaking after parliament passed the first of three bills designed to overhaul Australia’s security arrangements.

Senator Brandis said the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) would modernise and improve laws governing Australia’s intelligence agencies, including the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 (ASIO Act) and the Intelligence Services Act 2001 (Intelligence Services Act).

Specifically it will give:-

* .., ASIO greater surveillance and search powers including access to computers and inspection of postal and delivery service articles.

* …Intelligence officers engaged in special operations Limited immunity from prosecution

And create:-

* …New “whistle-blower” offences for unauthorised dealings with an intelligence-related record, including copying, transcription, removal and retention

*…Imprisonment terms of up to10 years for unauthorised communication and publication of intelligence-related information and

*… Increased penalties for identifying intelligence officers

Senator Brandis reminded reporters at the National Press Club today that the subject of terrorism had barely arisen in last year’s Federal election campaign.

Yet “little more than a year later, the issue of national security—and, more particularly, the question of how to keep our country safe from the real and immediate threat of terrorism—dominates the news,” he said

Monday 15th September 2014 - 5:57 pm
Comments Off on We aren’t blindly following the US:PM

We aren’t blindly following the US:PM

by Alan Thornhill

Tony Abbott says Australia is not “blindly following” the United States to war in the Middle East.

The Prime Minister made that declaration in Arnhem Land today, when a reporter questioned him about the Green’s assertion that this, effectively, is what has happened.

Mr Abbott said that is false.

“It’s simply false.

“We have made a clear-eyed assessment of our national interest.

“We’ve made a clear-eyed assessment of the best means of protecting our citizens, of advancing our values.

“And we believe that our national interest, our citizens’ protection, our national values and ideals, are best realised at this time by the commitment of a force to the Middle East, with a view to combat operations against this death cult,” Mr Abbott said.

“Let us not underestimate the gravity of the situation that ISIL have created.

“This is a terrorist movement unlike anything we have ever seen because it does not just do evil, it exults in doing evil and its ambitions are not just local, they are global.

Mr Abbott also urged Australian Muslims not to join terrorist forces in the Middle East, saying that would be wrong and “against God.”

“…I say again to any Australian who might be thinking of traveling to the Middle East to join in terrorist activity – don’t.

“Don’t.

“It is very dangerous.

“It is wrong.

“It is against God.

“It is against religion.

“It is against our common humanity…” Mr Abbott said.

Sunday 10th August 2014 - 12:57 pm
Comments Off on The PM’s promise on security

The PM’s promise on security

by Alan Thornhill

Tony Abbott promised again today that his government woill do all it can to keep Australia as safe as possible, in the years ahead.

The Prime Minister timed a statement, containing this promise, to coincide with his departure for Holland, where he will meet recovery teams, that have been working at the MH17 crash site, in Eastern Ukraine.

“I regret to say that a growing number of Australians are now traveling to Iraq and Syria and other conflict zones,” Mr Abbott said.

“Their aim is do harm and some hope to bring back deadly skills to Australia.

“The threat to Australia and to Australians from these extremists is real and growing,” Mr Abbott said.

“So this (past) week, the Government announced a series of measures that will strengthen our national security.”

Mr Abbott said the Government would be providing a further $630 million over four years to boost the counter terrorism capacity of our security and intelligence organisations.

These would include the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service.

“We will prosecute those who engage in terrorism tourism,” Mr Abbott said.

“This is a serious offence – and if you do it, it will mean jail.

He said the Government its strengthening our ability to monitor, arrest, and prosecute people who have been involved with terrorist groups abroad.

“As part of these plans, we want telecommunications companies to keep their data,” Mr Abbott said.

“We don’t want to collect new data – but to ensure the limited data already collected can be accessed by authorities to build a case against those who have or are planning to commit crimes.”

Monday 28th July 2014 - 7:23 am
Comments Off on Recovery mission delayed

Recovery mission delayed

by Alan Thornhill

A Dutch led recovery team, that includes Australian Federal Police, has deferred a visit to an air crash site in Ukraine, after a local ceasefire agreement collapsed.

That agreement was between Ukrainian troops and Russian backed rebels.

The planned recovery of more bodies, from the ill-fated MH17 Malaysian Airlines flight, which was shot down, will now be put off until the site is once more secure.

The ABC reports that Alexander Hug, the deputy head of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) monitoring mission in Ukraine, says the local conflict has affected the start of the mission.

“We heard indications there’s fighting going on.

We can’t take the risk,” he said.

“The security situation on the way to the site and on the site itself is unacceptable for our unarmed observer mission.

“Fighting in the area will most likely affect [the] crash site, ” Hug said.

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Weathercoast by Alan Thornhill

A novel on the murder of seven young Anglican Christian Brothers in the Solomon Islands.

Available now on the iTunes store.

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Alan Thornhill

Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
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